Picture this: the year is 1984. You live in a society ruled by Big Brother, a fearsome mascot whose ominous face fills enormous posters everywhere you look. There is constant surveillance in every part of your life, no matter what you are doing or where you go. Government propaganda is forced upon you multiple times a day. One wrong action, however small, could get you tortured and killed. Clothing and food are strictly rationed among other things. You must use the words of Newspeak, the language that cuts out “unnecessary” words in the English language, and regularly practice mental ideas like crimestop and doublethink to stay in line. You are a member of the Party in the book 1984, and you lead a life similar to Winston Smith, the main character of this story.
However, Winston doesn’t believe in the Party’s values and beliefs. He has been against them for seven years, but can’t do anything about it as trying to act on these thoughts would lead to certain death. As the book progresses, Winston does figure out a way to go against the Party and Big Brother, but I suggest checking out the book to read all about that!
There are parallels to today’s society within 1984, like invasive surveillance and other issues that are becoming increasingly prevalent. Reading 1984 gave me some interesting insight as to what 2019 could become if we let technology and surveillance become much more controlling and let them be abused. 1984 is a fascinating read about a dystopian world that isn’t as different from 2019 as one might think.
Reading Rocks! is a great volunteer opportunity for the summer! Teens can come in and be read to by an elementary school age child practicing their reading skills, keep up their reading over the summer, and gain confidence in reading. You help the child pick out a book they are interested in from a book cart, give gentle corrections of mispronunciations, and provide lots of encouragement to keep them motivated! If you have younger siblings, this is a great opportunity for them to improve their reading skills.
The program runs every Saturday from June 15 to August 31. There is a mandatory one-time orientation you must attend, and they occur 15 minutes before each session at 10:45. The program starts at 11:00 and runs till 10:45, so it’s 45 minutes long, but you can count it as an hour of volunteering. Grab an application and sign up at the Mission Viejo Library’s Children’s Reference Desk!
Parents, you can sign up your child for this program by visiting the Children’s Reference Desk or calling 949-830-5107.
I went to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa and it was an amazing experience! Charles M. Schulz created the comic strip Peanuts and all the characters like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy that we know and love.
I got to learn about Schulz’s life and see a replica of his study where there was a video that showed footage of Schulz drawing his characters and describing them. There were so many old, original comics to read which was really fun and interesting. There were also descriptions beside each comic explaining why Schulz would incorporate a certain object, sport, or emotion. An example of this would be hockey because he played the sport professionally for a few years and included it in a few comics.
Additionally, there were many interactive features such as a huge dog bowl, Snoopy dog house, and thought/speech bubbles also you could make your own comic book scene. There was also an recorded interview of Donna Wold, the real person who inspired the Little Red-Haired Girl in Schulz’s comics, that you could listen to through headphones.
It was such a fun experience to visit this museum, read comics, and learn more about Charles M. Schulz and it’s something you should definitely do if you’re in the Santa Rosa area!
The year is 2044. The Earth is in ruins and people are starving, all because of the energy crisis and human neglect. Humanity’s escape from all that is the incredible virtual reality game called OASIS. It was created by the genius video game creator James Halliday who, when he died, set up a contest to find the Easter egg he’s hidden in the grand OASIS. Whoever finds it will get Halliday’s inheritance, which is an enormous sum of money.
This story follows Wade, an introverted, awkward boy who has grown up with the OASIS. His parents died while he was young, so he’s forced to live with his cruel aunt in a precarious tower of trailers. He spends his days finishing up his last year of high school and mostly researching every 80s TV show, comic, movie, and book for clues on how to find Halliday’s egg.
When Wade begins to progress in the hunt for the egg and find the first key, he receives a lot of attention and soon becomes targeted by the IOI, another game company who wants to win the contest so they can steal the OASIS and change it. Wade must find the egg before someone else or the IOI can to save himself and possibly the world.
I really enjoyed this book! It’s so interesting because of its futuristic, sci-fi genre and many, many references to games, books, TV shows, and movies. This is a unique, fascinating book that will have you turning its pages rapidly till the end!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
Meet Melody. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, has a photographic memory, and experiences different colors and tastes when listening to music. The thing is, Melody is almost eleven years old and hasn’t spoken her whole life. She has cerebral palsy which makes it impossible for her to walk, talk, and even feed herself.
At school, she is stuck learning the same boring alphabet lessons again and again because no one thinks she’s smart or can learn. Melody is going out of her mind with being so limited until she discovers something that allows her to have a voice for the first time, but not everyone is ready to hear it and listen.
I enjoyed this book so much. I learned a lot more about cerebral palsy and how it affects people in so many ways. You can really feel Melody’s struggles and triumphs, and this book is engaging and unique from start to finish. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to try something thought-provoking and interesting.
Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
Sophie Foster is an elf, a powerful girl who lives in a glittering world full mythical creatures, fantastical places, and elves with every superpower-like ability under the sun.
But with so much going on, Sophie can never seem to figure out what the Neverseen, the evil group of rebels, will hit them with next. After Sophie’s human parents are kidnapped by the Neverseen, Sophie finds her sister Amy in her human home and takes her to the Lost Cities to keep her safe. Keefe and Sophie travel to Ravagog, the home of the ogres, to try to form an alliance with the ruler of the ogres, King Dimitar. Through it all, Sophie and her friends are trying to figure out what Keefe’s mom means when she talks about his legacy and how it is connected to Nightfall, a mysterious place where they must go to discover the elves’ true past with humans.
I love this book and this series so much. Next to Harry Potter it’s definitely one of my favorite series of books. I recommend reading this book and the rest in this awesome series!
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.